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Džeko stripped of Roma’s captaincy after clash with Fonseca

February 3, 2021 GMT
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Roma's Edin Dzeko after missing a chance during the Serie A soccer match between Lazio and Roma, at Rome's Olympic Stadium, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
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Roma's Edin Dzeko after missing a chance during the Serie A soccer match between Lazio and Roma, at Rome's Olympic Stadium, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

ROME (AP) — Edin Džeko has been stripped of Roma’s captaincy after falling out with coach Paulo Fonseca.

Džeko was left off Roma’s squad for a recent Serie A game amid tensions following a 3-0 derby loss to Lazio and a surprising Italian Cup defeat to Spezia.

“A club must abide by discipline, rules and a code of conduct that needs to be followed and respected,” new Roma general manager Tiago Pinto said Wednesday. “Right now Edin is not the squad’s captain.”

There had been speculation that Džeko would go to Inter Milan during the transfer window in a swap deal with Alexis Sanchez. But the deal didn’t happen.

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Lorenzo Pellegrini has been wearing the captain’s armband since Džeko was benched and he now appears set to officially become the club’s latest Roman-born captain after the likes of Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi.

Pinto said Roma is in talks to extend Pellegrini’s contract, which is currently due to expire after next season.

“Everyone in the club believes that he perfectly represents our values,” Pinto said. “He’s a young and talented player with a strong identity within the club. But at the same time he’s a team worker.”

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